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Eonic Model as caution to general theories Re: Back to panta rhei (Desai)
by Nemonemini
06 October 2002 10:07 UTC
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In a message dated 10/6/2002 3:35:12 AM Eastern Daylight Time, gktbg1@tiscali.de writes:

After pealing off most of what's dear to world(-)system(s) folk, Desai
concludes that:
The organicist view
sees globalisation as a self organising process not designed by any
one or even many corporations or governments but as an incessant
seeking for profits in a gale of creative destruction. It is
refashioning what was an Inter-state [International] Order into a
Global Process whose end is not predictable. Yet if the organicist
view blames no single agency for the functioning of capitalism, it
neither offers hope of a better world in the near future. In Marx's
vision, there is incessant class struggle as capitalism reproduces
itself. There is a distant end to capitalism and a self conscious,
self organising society emerges at the end. But here again there is
no promises, at least in Marx's own writings, of any immediate
[end quote]

This is an interesting perception or series of such whose core is really Hayek's challenge to Marx and perhaps an effort to leapfrog the unsettling insights of this classical liberal.

In terms of the eonic model, I would say that everyone is tying their head in knots trying to find the right theory of globalization. The eonic model shows the simplicity of the issue in one sense. The 'world system', to the extent there is one, and in the sense of the eonic model, is 'done by 1848' and goes into shutdown. So why worry about it so much? Do what you can, but the world system may as well be the Gaian tooth fairy, and junk theories are confusing people.
In that vacuum of World System shutdown (operating over tens of millennia) floods the eclectic and essenceless world of economic capitalism and its adhoc economic technologies, and which is what it is, and whatever it is it is not a world system in an organized sensem as much as a disorganized sense.
Surely that was Marx's real insight. Whence after all this great 'self-organization' of the rise of the modern comes this skewed 'capitalist' mode? Why is the outcome of modernism stolen by capitalist obsessions and discredited by its unending screwups?
The 'world system' exists perceptibly only to past vision, and the present is simply disorganized chaos going nowhere and flooded by the detail of its own process, always tending toward contradictions on class division, imperialism, its own obscure market mechanics of cycles etc etc, a mess of pottage  no high priced theory is going to quite explain.
In that void, we can extract very little in the way of theory, and there intelligent common sense is the only guide. Marx's common sense is draped in so much useless theory his point is lost, and his own theories are open to the same difficulties. Marx was unable to finish his project, and it is incoherent. He simply gave the whole mess to Engels, and the fate of the whole was propaganda. You have a choice, theory, or propaganda. The one disguised as the other has killed enough people.

The 'mechanics' of universal history is beyond the market. Its scale is that of evolution. In the wake of its action, men tend to create substitutes. The point of Marx is that capitalism is possibly one of those substitutes, something with no divinely ordained permanent future. Fine, but a simple revolution isn't going to solve the problem.
That simple point is intuited in Marx, but never really exploited fully. Marx's conclusion is simple, navigate toward the abolition of property in a new system beyond markets. And the capitalist stream has shown extreme resistance to such a project, for reasons Hayek made clear. Is it realistic?

Whatever the case, it is another instance of the stream and sequence thinking, although that is less helpful here. The point is merely that free men have to decide what economies could do better than what they have, if what they have isn't good enough. So far, a la Hayek, they haven't suceeded.

That simple, without all this theoretical garbage that just goes on and on confusing all newcomers beside all hasbeens of theory.

Since anyone threatening common sense is threatened with expulsion from the game the safest strategy is to sneak away from the madhouse.

The correction of the eonic model is to consider a partial theory using periodization only as an 'idea for a universal history'  referring only to the past, looking backwards. Any attempt to claim some scientific theory predicting the future state of some system, with or without a theory of revolution, is doomed to flounder in the causal-teleological antinomies, quite apart from the immense problem of analyzing such vastness at all.

Try considering the eonic model as a cure for stupid theorizing. Armed with periodization only, to keep you from mechanics speculation, follow the empirical stages of visible history, three turning points. Even that is open to question, why not a hundred turning points? What does it mean, how to take it?
But try it at least.  If the left is to do more than exit history as an object of theoretical derision, it needs to stop floundering in pretentious idiocy. A defacto empirical model a la the eonic can clarify the issues.

There the simple sequence of problems, if not solutions, as a stepping stone sequence are clearly visible in Marx, amounting to a demand for practical response to the new reality of the capitalist world. Marx' starting point was Hegel's philosophy of right, and the state. Did Marx get it right, step one?
It is interesting that ten conferences of expert Marxists could fill ten volumes with bullshit here, and still not get it straight. What are you doing?

The three turning points scheme will caution that the claims on an 'idea for a universal history' are mostly bogus here, especially if economic systems are made fundamental. Let's be glad they are ad hoc, that means change is possible.

We simply don't operate on the scale of millennia.  So we are confronted by the vacuum fillers like capitalism whose reality has no essence, is not a stage of history, has no theoretical mumbojumbo.
It is a series of free choices of men to create and subject themselves to this system. And to deal with it requires practical ideas and experiments. The Bolshevik experiment was so disastrously awful, so horribly stupid, that a next move requires some real distance from the question. I hope that won't leave us with the fate of the Levellers after 1688, forgotten in the wake of ye Glorious Whigs. But as things stand now, that's about it.
Face it, leftist theory is mostly stupidity. And the literature is all propaganda masquerading as theory. Theory has never gotten further than the Communist Manifesto, which about summarizes the lot.

John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
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